Typhoon kills 33 in China; Hillary sends condolences

Typhoon Fanapi is one of the strongest storms to hit China in years.

Last Updated: Sep 23, 2010, 10:17 AM IST

Beijing: Typhoon Fanapi, one of the strongest storms to hit China in years, has left 33 dead and 42 missing in devastating flooding and landslides in the nation`s south, state press said on Thursday.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday sent her condolences for the death of over 30 people in typhoon Fanapi.

"On behalf of the people of the United States, I express our deep regret over the recent devastation and loss of life caused by Typhoon Fanapi," she said in two separate statements to China and Taiwan.

"We send our heartfelt condolences to those affected by this tragedy, and to all the people" of China and Taiwan.

Fanapi made landfall on the mainland on Monday, one day after slamming Taiwan with heavy rains, killing two people and leaving more than 100 injured on the island.

All of the mainland deaths occurred in southern China`s Guangdong province, which saw its worst rains in a century, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Reports said five of the victims died after a dam burst, while two others were killed when their house collapsed. Of those missing, 25 disappeared in a rain-triggered mudslide, state media said.

Over 78,000 people in Guangdong have been evacuated due to the storm, which destroyed some 1,400 homes, local authorities said, according to Xinhua.

Initial direct economic losses amounted to CNY 2 billion (USD 300 million) Xinhua said.

Fanapi, which has weakened to a low-pressure system, is moving west at a speed of up to 10 kilometres an hour, bringing torrential rains in its wake, meteorologists said.

Parts of Guangdong province received 64 centimetres of rain in 24 hours, Xinhua cited the provincial flood control headquarters as saying.

At its strongest point, when it hit Taiwan on Sunday, Fanapi was packing winds of up to 220 kilometres an hour and dumped up to 100 centimetres of rain in the south of the island.

Industrial and agricultural damage wrought by the typhoon was estimated at around five billion Taiwan dollars (USD 158 million), according to the government in Taipei.

(With Agencies’ inputs)